Have you ever been told you couldn’t, or wouldn’t, but you did?

Where there's a will, there's a way, by Laurie Buchanan

Have you ever been told:
– You couldn’t lose the weight
– You couldn’t run the marathon
– You couldn’t quit smoking
– You wouldn’t amount to anything
– You couldn’t have a baby
– Your head is a receptacle for silly ideas
– You couldn’t get a business loan because you wouldn’t make a go of it
– You couldn’t write a book, and if you did, you couldn’t get it published
– You wouldn’t make a good parent
– You wouldn’t live more than 5-months because you have cancer taking over your body, and you responded (like my friend, Ted) with a beautiful, robust, health-filled life!

What have you been told you couldn’t, or wouldn’t – but you did anyway?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan


Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog post may be used in part, or in whole, without written permission from Laurie Buchanan.

34 thoughts on “Have you ever been told you couldn’t, or wouldn’t, but you did?

  1. Laurie,

    Sadly yes, I have been told many of those things, and I set out to prove them wrong, one by one.
    Those voices, still make noise when I am not center, when I am not listening to my heart, Yet more and more, I have learned to hear the still small voice, that says you are “good enough” you are not only good enough you are truly amazing, for I am Love, even when I don’t feel like love.

    I am Love, Jeff

    • Jeff – You said, “…you are not only good enough, you are truly amazing, for I am love, even with I don’t feel like love.”

      I second the motion with a great big hearty yes, Yes, YES!

  2. Oh, my goodness, Laurie, what an insidious list of projections — the bane of being an unrecognized conscious soul. All of these are limitations projected on to any of us from some poor soul who had that projected on to them. Hearing the words from someone we might look to for support (such as our parents) is bad enough, but then there are the covert silent proclamations: action or lack of action, like being ignored that speak loudly of another’s opinion of our ability. Any time I hear a “you can’t (fill in the blank) in my head, I have to sit down and take a moment to dismantle that message and restore a more appropriate supportive message.

    • Barbara – I hope you can hear my Tony the Tiger ggggrrrrrreeeaaatttt! as a response to your, “All of these are limitation sprojected on to any of us from some poor soul who had that project on to them.” I am in complete agreement with you si-STAR! And I love you action steps: “I sit down and take a moment to DISMANTLE that message and RESTORE a more APPROPRIATE, SUPPORTIVE message.” I’m so glad that you stopped in with these words of wisdom, thank you.

  3. There are no two words in the English language that can inspire me to greater heights of determination than “You Can’t”. For me, they are the goad to lift me from apathy and indecision to jump up and reply, “Let’s see!” Of course, many times I’ve fallen back and had to haul myself up again for another tremendous effort, we’ve all seen the salmon jumping the weirs and waterfalls at mating time, I think that energy is in all of us. It is how and when we apply that drive to daily living that makes the most difference, just returning with a more focused approach often does the trick. I can’t say that my life has been measurably better because of this tendency to pop back like up like a Weeble, ( remember Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down! ) but it has been infinitely more interesting and worth the effort.

    • Sandi – I can’t even begin to imagine anyone telling you that “you can’t.” I love when you said, “It is how and when we apply that drive to daily living that makes the most difference…” I resonate Big Time with that statement. I remember the Weebles! And agree wholeheartedly that life’s a lot more interesting and well worth the effort when we pop back up. Thank you for stopping by today.

  4. Laurie, all my life I was told I couldn’t, shouldn’t or it was not possible. I found that when I stopped listening to others to try to please them or think they had the answers and looked within, I found my voice and my voice said “Just do it”!

    Since then, I have run a half marathon in Cape Town, SA, trqaveled to Zambia to the bush of Africa, pulled 5 g’s in a fighter jet, sky dove and have had the time of my life.

    That is not without plenty of failures but instead of letting the failures stop my tryiing, I followed my heart and kept trying…allowing myself some of the most remarkable experiences and memories of a lifetime.

    I say to those who question whether to do or not do to just do and take the risk…the short term failures are far worth the life long memories of amazing experiences!

    Live like you have never been hurt before and listen to what drives you inside otherwise you will listen to others fears which will hold you back.

    • Kathy H. – It’s sure good to see you here, thank you for stopping in! I got your other email after I finished teaching Reiki Level 3 today and will respond to that, in kind, tomorrow after we return from bicycling. I know from up-close-and-personal experience that you have a voice, and a wonderful voice it is. You are a Mover and a Shaker — you say what you mean, and you mean what you say. I respect that.

      You’ve had Failures? Me too! I’ve learned that failures make great stepping stones, and I’m sure that you’d agree.

  5. Very often. Certainly in recent times. Because only I can make my choices for my own life. It is a combination of intellect, heart and gut. More and more I take time to do a process, and if after a while the feeling of doing something is still there I go for it.

    • Elke – As you know, you’ve been on my heart and mind today. You are one heck of an amazing woman and I’m so darned proud of you that I could scream. I’m glad you stopped in, thank you.

  6. First let me say I love the Weeble comment!!

    I have had these kind of comments since birth. I was born two months premature. I wanted to come out as fast as I could running, well everyone else had their own agendas!

    The first ones were, she won’t survive, she is so tiny,we use doll clothes to fit her. Then came living as NEVER being good enough, always trying to please even that was not acceptable. No matter how perfect things were there was always something that just was not up to expectation,so my expectaions of myself. Got higher and higher…to a point where I could not even keep up with my own personal expectations. After being beat physically,Emotionally,and spiritually with no help I just came to accept it all as normal and just started to ignorr it and become isolated.I have numerous friends but it always seemed that I did not want to bother them with my issue, after all how important were my issues when others had so many moire troubles. It soon came my mantra, why ask others for things they have their own lives and famiky to deal with, and notime for chats to become closer friends.
    I don’t even know if I am making any sense here, but thought I WOULD TRY!

  7. Hi Laurie

    Yep – seems like something like that sort of gets me motivated.

    About 35 years ago I had dropped out of Uni after failing a few too many 3rd year papers, and was fishing with my dad. I had got involved in the local fishermen’s association, and was attending a large meeting of fishermen from the region in Auckland (NZs largest city). The then director of Fisheries Management (Brian Cunningham) was proposing a set of management measures that made no biological or social sense to me, so I kept on asking questions, and he kept getting more frustrated. At one point he said to the meeting of about 600 (in an attempt to shut me up) “what the F**% would you know Howard, you’re just an F**%ing dropout!”.
    Wrong thing to say.
    The next year I went to a different University, lost credits in the transfer, but successfully completed half the credits for a BSc in one year – mostly in Marine ecology. As such was a thorn in his side until the day he died.

    Something similar when I started school. I was told by the teacher that I was retarded, and wouldn’t amount to much. Gained some satisfaction 18 years later when I was not only admitted to Mensa, but invited to join the 4 sigma club (for those with an IQ 4 standard deviations or more above normal).

    I like to help people, and I like to do my own thing. Striking a balance between those two things isn’t always easy. I suspect that internal conflict is perhaps at root cause behind my current problems with cancer. Or perhaps more correctly, my inherent laziness, and tendency to avoid doing the really tough stuff, because I know how much work it will be.

    And yet I know I can do it. When a friend dared me to do the “Rainbow Rage” (a 60 mile mountain bike ride over 3 passes), I took the challenge on, and finished it 8 weeks later (not even owning a bike at the time I accepted the challenge). My time was slow, 8 hours, and I did it. A year later I did it again, with a year’s training under my belt, and my time was 5:50 – about mid field.

    I could probably come up with a dozen or so more instances, of when someone said I couldn’t do something, and the sheer bloody mindedness within me has pushed me to do what is necessary to make it happen. And always there have been mentors and guides.

    As you mentioned, changing my diet to fight cancer is one such. No guarantees, and it does seem to be working.

    I’m not sure how yet, and I am committed to creating systems that support every person on the planet leading a healthy option filled life. http://www.solnx.org is my best try yet as to the technical side. The social and political sides are still a bit unclear, and they are resolving into clarity as I keep on asking the questions, and testing the intuitions that show up.

    • Ted – Simply put, YOU ARE MY HERO! When I think of all the things you’ve overcome, DANG, it just makes me want to stand up and salute, or jump up and click my heels, or dance, or scream with joy! And your motivation — the drive behind your passion — is to “create systems that support EVERY person on the planet leading a HEALTHY, OPTION-FILLED life.” yes, Yes, YES! You da man!

    • Ted, you know, I just love hearing the stories about your life! You could have knocked me over with a feather when you mentioned dropping out of University. ” What the smartest guy I’ve ever heard of? No way!” then you went on to add that you went on and finished. You are Mr. Determination and I know you’ll handle this new obstacle with your usual clear-headed and analytical approach. If anyone in the world came break things down to their very basic elements and rearrange them to work in your favor, it will be you. My thoughts a with you.

      • Hi Sandi

        At one level you might say I got completely disillusioned by university. In my naive imagining I thought it was a place where ideas were open for discussion and criticism.

        It came as a very big shock to learn that most of the A++ students were little more than parrots, who had never questioned any idea for themselves.

        Most of those in the university system are not interested in being seriously challenged, they just want people to parrot back what they are told. That’s never really interested me. I am interested in pushing the boundaries, expanding the envelope.
        That means I meet with a lot of opposition in the upper levels of the establishment (who are not at all interested in anything unknown or uncertain, they want proven demonstrable security).

        Unfortunately for us all, these are not certain times in which we live. It seems to me we must transition to a new level, or perish.

        Brings to mind the old Taoist curse “may you live in interesting times”.


  8. My inner voices have lately~~especially in the past year~~been telling me what I can’t do any more. This has been very challenging because, before that, I believed I could do anything. I have to be super alert and aware when one of the inner nay-sayers arise. To catch that in the bud and kindly, gently, say “Yes, we can.” That feels so liberating. Thank you for this, Laurie.

    • Kathy D. – I love when you said, “…be super alert and aware when one of the inner nay-sers arise.” And then go on to gently say, “Yes we can.” It is, indeed, liberating. That happens to me, too. And then me, myself, and I have to have a pow-wow where we end with a big “Go Team!” high five and we’re off and running. Sometimes to fall flat on our face, and other times not — either way, we tried. And that’s what counts. I’m so glad you stopped by today, thank you.

  9. Pingback: ‘Nowhere Boy,’ ‘Heist Festival’ and Ozu on Tuesday Morning Diary (October 12) « Wonders in the Dark

  10. Told I shouldn’t go to Egypt. So so glad I did. It was the most incredible experience and gave me my love of international travel. Unfortunately 6 months after I returned, 70 people were gunned down at a temple I was at. But fortunately it wasn’t me that day!

  11. Oh Laurie I think whenever someone says “you can’t, shouldn’t, couldn’t or wouldn’t…” they just need a little help imagining how you are going to do it. Best to just go ahead and show them how it is done – pretty soon they will be helping you out 🙂

  12. Coming to conversation late but wanted to share one of my favorite Shel Silverstein poems that came to mind with this post.

    Listen to the Musn’ts
    by Shel Silverstein

    Listen to the MUSN’TS, child,
    Listen to the DON’Ts
    Listen to the SHOULDN’TS,
    Listen to the NEVER HAVES
    Then listen close to me –
    Anything can happen, child,
    ANYTHING can be.

    • Erin – I’m so glad you popped in for a visit. I love the Shel Silverstein poem that you shared. When my son was growing up, one of his favorite books was “Where the Sidewalk Ends.”

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